When put up against American performance cars, the BMW X3 M40i is admirably quick. This is a bit of a head-scratcher, considering the X3 is a luxury SUV. The M40i model fits between the base xDrive30i and the more powerful X3 M versions. While the Mustang and Camaro are lighter and have V8 engines, the X3 handles the challenge of acceleration with ease, offering 12.8-second quarter-mile time. All this speed and it still has room for plenty of cargo and comfort in the rear.
Why is the BMW X3 M40i such an interesting luxury SUV?
This BMW X3 isn’t your mild-mannered model, it’s not quite the rip-roaring power beast, it’s somewhere in between. That makes it a vehicle that could give you the upscale features you want and the driving dynamics that BMW delivers, but is that what you’re after in your SUV? Like the old adage about middle children, this model might be forgotten if it weren’t for how well it performs compared to some of America’s favorite muscle machines.
What does this BMW offer?
The X3 M40i can be the ideal SUV when you want to enjoy a drive, but you don’t need the full M treatment. Kelley Blue Book tells us this luxury SUV includes:
- Sport-tuned adaptive suspension
- Variable-ratio sport steering
- Torque vectoring
- Panoramic sunroof
- Stronger brakes
- Two 12.3-inch displays
These items are in addition to what the base xDrive30i offers. This means your X3 M40i will have:
- 19-inch alloy wheels
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Powered tailgate
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Simulated leather upholstery
- 10-way power-adjustable front seats
- Tri-zone automatic climate controls
- Dark oak trim
- 40/20/40 split/folding/reclining rear seats
- Rain-sensing wipers
- Front/rear parking sensors
- Automatic high beams
- Fatigue alert
- Post-crash braking
- Satellite radio
- Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
- Wi-Fi hotspot
Overall, this is a complete package of features for your comfort, making this luxury SUV one that makes sense for many drivers.
What gives this BMW X3 its quickness?
This luxury SUV receives power from the B58 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. This engine returns 382 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque while achieving 21 city/26 hwy mpg. Car and Driver tested this version of the X3 and tells us the powertrain is impressive. The ZF eight-speed automatic transmission is easily the Jekyll and Hyde of this SUV. Tt stays relaxed and mannered during normal driving, but when the accelerator is pushed hard, it rages into a rapid-fire gear changer.
You won’t feel any turbo lag in the M40i. The powertrain of this luxury SUV includes a 48-volt hybrid system that fills the power gaps while the turbo spools up. This makes for smooth power delivery during every drive.
Is the drive too harsh for a non-M version of the BMW X3?
The Car and Driver testing team reported that the electrically assisted power steering isn’t tuned right, requiring regular mid-corner corrections. They also labeled the adaptive damper tuning as either Spine Compression or Rigor Mortis, which allows us to know this SUV has a harsh ride, especially on rough roads.
How much does this luxury SUV cost?
The starting price of the 2022 BMW X3 M40i is $58,000. The model used by the testers came in at $64,990 because of the added options that are part of the vehicle. This pricing is in line with many other models in the middle trim levels, but is it the right price for you?
Should you buy the BMW X3 M40i?
If you’re searching for a performance SUV that can beat some of the most popular muscle cars, this luxury SUV does the job well. This BMW is sporty, aggressive, roomy, and agile on the track. Unfortunately, it’s a harsh SUV on the road, especially when going through a construction zone. If you’re looking for a family SUV with luxury qualities, you might want to spend a little less and drive the xDrive30i model.